Acknowledging that there’s essentially “no ‘right’ way to do it,” the McKinley vet says he was blown away when he first read the script for the episode, which is slated to air on Oct. 10.
“There are so many incredibly well written and powerful scenes,” he shares, before singling out one sequence as being particularly moving. “When [the cast] got the script, we were all reading it together and we were like, ‘Did you get to that one scene.’ And when you see it everyone will know what that one scene is.”
McHale says reactions to Finn’s death will be both varied and surprising, noting that some castmembers “are having to play reactions that they obviously would not feel in real-life, and that’s a weird thing to play. Because you want people to know how you actually feel. But [Ryan Murphy & Co. are staying true to] the characters, and that’s the smart thing to do.”
For example. several characters find themselves in a deep state of denial. “Some people aren’t dealing with the loss of Finn, and it’s a difficult thing because in real life none of us were like that,” he explains. “We were all very much dealing with it.”
We’ve talked to sources who have read the script for Glee’s Cory Monteith tribute episode, which is scheduled to begin production today in Los Angeles, and by all accounts, it does not disappoint.
“You will cry from beginning to end,” says one insider.
“I cried as I read it, on every page,” says another.
No spoilers here, but we can tell you that the episode takes place in Lima, Ohio, and centers around the death of Cory’s character Finn Hudson. As promised, it is not revealed how Finn died, but the episode starts off with the news of his death and then moves on to focus on all the characters remembering and mourning him, and celebrating his life.
We are told that Lea Michele (Rachel) does not appear in the episode until the final act. Her presence is limited but incredibly powerful. And yes, she does sing.
We can also tell you that Santana (Naya Rivera) has a great, memorable part in the episode.
And the final song? Get ready to ugly cry.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy previously revealed he felt it best not to include Finn’s cause of death in Cory’s tribute episode.
“At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose—that was something we had considered,” he said. “But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that.”
“Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died,” Murphy explained. “The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, ‘This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.’ That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way.”
Murphy previously told E! News he had planned to shoot the Monteith tribute (episode three) and then take a break to regroup and figure out how to move forward with the series. The initial plan for Glee‘s season five was to have Monteith heavily featured, at his own request, so some of the story arcs must be reconfigured.
Glee cast, we are thinking of you.
Jane Lynch tweeted Wednesday that the script was the “most beautiful thing” and thanked series creator Ryan Murphy and executive producers Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.
Murphy recently said Finn’s passing would not mirror what happened to Monteith, who died from a toxic mix of drugs and alcohol in July — and that the memorial episode may not definitively say how Finn passes away.
“How somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, ‘This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.’ That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way,” Murphy said.
“I think [the script] turned out to be a lovely tribute, and it’s a very heartfelt look at how some people grieve. We’re trying to craft an episode that’s not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving.”
Ryan added that “the really difficult thing” — filming the episode in question — began the week of Aug. 12.
Per TMZ, which was first to report on the tragedy, the 29-year-old actor suffered a fatal gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.
ABC News has since confirmed Young’s death.
Production on the back half of Rizzoli’s current season was suspended Monday and possibly will take a short hiatus. A statement from TNT, Warner Bros. TV and Rizzoli & Isles EP Janet Tamaro reads as follows:
Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.
Young’s TV credits include the title role in Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson (which ran from 1998 to 2001), Scrubs, FlashForward and Smallville (where he played Cyborg). On Rizzoli, he has costarred as Detective Barry Frost since the TNT series’ pilot.
On the big screen, he played running back Chris Comer in 2004′s Friday Night Lights.